David Downing Books

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David Downing is a British author that writes historical mysteries and thrillers. Born in 1946 in London, England, Downing attended the University of Sussex (BA in Afro-Asian Studies, MA in International Relations).

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Order of John Russell & Effi Koenen Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Zoo Station 2007 Description / Buy
2 Silesian Station 2008 Description / Buy
3 Stettin Station 2009 Description / Buy
4 Potsdam Station 2010 Description / Buy
5 Lehrter Station 2012 Description / Buy
6 Masaryk Station 2013 Description / Buy
7 Wedding Station 2021 Description / Buy
8 Union Station 2024 Description / Buy

Order of Jack McColl Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Jack of Spies 2013 Description / Buy
2 One Man's Flag 2015 Description / Buy
3 Lenin's Roller Coaster 2017 Description / Buy
4 The Dark Clouds Shining 2018 Description / Buy

Order of Leading Lives Series with Anna Claybourne

# Read Title Published Details
1 Joseph Stalin (Short Story) 2001 Description / Buy
2 Benito Mussolini (Short Story) 2001 Description / Buy
3 Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (Short Story) 2002 Description / Buy
4 Mohandas Gandhi (Short Story) 2002 Description / Buy
5 Emmeline Pankhurst (Short Story) 2002 Description / Buy
6 Golda Meir (Short Story) ( By: Anna Claybourne) 2003 Description / Buy
7 Ho Chi Minh (Short Story) 2003 Description / Buy
8 Che Guevara (Short Story) 2003 Description / Buy
9 Lenin (Short Story) 2020 Description / Buy

Order of David Downing Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Moscow Option 1980 Description / Buy
2 The Red Eagles 2014 Description / Buy
3 Diary of a Dead Man on Leave 2019 Description / Buy

Order of David Downing Non-Fiction

# Read Title Published Details
1 Future Rock 1976 Description / Buy
2 Clint Eastwood (Short Story) 1977 Description / Buy
3 The Devil's Virtuosos 1977 Description / Buy
4 War Without End, Peace Without Hope 1978 Description / Buy
5 Charles Bronson 1982 Description / Buy
6 Jack Nicholson 1983 Description / Buy
7 Marlon Brando 1984 Description / Buy
8 Robert Redford 1985 Description / Buy
9 Robert Mitchum 1986 Description / Buy
10 A Dreamer Of Pictures 1995 Description / Buy
11 Passovotchka 1999 Description / Buy
12 The Best of Enemies 2000 Description / Buy
13 Yasser Arafat (Short Story) 2002 Description / Buy
14 Sealing Their Fate 2009 Description / Buy
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The 1970s found him on a memorable journey to India, leading him through Iran and Afghanistan. He also made several visits to the Soviet Union. Before penning fiction, Downing worked as a freelance writer for various rock magazines. The most prominent was ‘Let It Rock.’

Later, he wrote ‘Future Rock,’ his first book, which attempted to explore the transformations music would undergo in the future. Although people know Downing primarily for his historical fiction.

The author created the Station series, which followed John Russell, a reporter and reluctant hero, and his girlfriend as they attempted to navigate life in a world caught in the throes of the Second World War.

People flocked to the series because of the relentless oppression and hopelessness that blanketed Berlin, drowning the setting’s inhabitants in despair. John Russell is a different kind of protagonist because he never changes, at least not on a fundamental level. At worst, his cynicism deepened.

Downing made a deliberate decision to place him in a stable relationship, one in which John and Effi’s future with one another wasn’t in question. Instead, the tension in their relationship originated from the threat of WWII.

They were unfortunate enough to live in a world where doing the right thing was a risky proposition. Some of the author’s followers were surprised when he abandoned WWII for WWI after introducing Jack McColl in 2013.

But for the author, this was a sensible progression because WWI laid the foundation for the consequences his characters had to withstand in the WWII-based John Russel books. Jack couldn’t be more different from John.

While John is fully formed (more or less) from the start, Jack is a blank slate. The protagonist is naive enough to approach the prospect of spying with an element of excitement. This allows Jack to gradually transform as he encounters the complex moral dilemmas surrounding his job.

Downing has written numerous nonfiction articles about border disputes. Therefore, he knows how to perform meticulous research. His books prove as much. He tries to paint an accurate picture of the era his characters inhabit.

He wants his readers to understand the desperate conditions ordinary people tolerated during the First and Second World Wars. Naturally, there are limits to what he can do. For instance, he can’t visit Nazi Berlin to study its ruined streets.

So he relies on the novels and memoirs of people that lived through the great wars, not to mention maps and photographs from those days.

Best David Downing Books

The author writes about the Special Air Service and Special Boat Service using the ‘David Monnery’ name. Downing’s best books include:

Zoo Station: John Russell was living a relatively ordinary life in Berlin in 1939. Because of his German-born son, the journalist was determined to carve out a life for himself in Berlin. He had no intention of getting deported by wading into the murky waters of investigative journalism.

But then the war came knocking, and things changed. John’s problems began when an acquaintance enticed him into working with the Soviets. The work was hard enough, forcing the journalist to participate in dangerous activities like helping a Jewish family.

The British and Nazis made things worse when they noticed his activities and decided to intervene in John’s affairs.

Silesian Station: John Russel thought he could escape. The British Journalist had just secured American Citizenship. The last thing he expected was for the Gestapo to arrest his girlfriend Effi, placing John in an uncomfortable situation.

The Nazies were well aware of his Soviet connections. They wanted him to feed the Soviets false information. Even though John consented to their demands, he had already decided to work for the Soviets in secret.

They had promised to get him, his son, and his girlfriend out of Germany if he performed some simple tasks for them. John accepted the arrangement believing the Soviets wouldn’t ask him to do anything dangerous.

But before long, the situation had escalated, and the Soviets began asking for more than John was willing to give. Meanwhile, a woman from his past with communist leanings had returned. She wanted John’s help.

When Does The Next David Downing book come out?

David Downing doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Union Station and was released on February, 6th 2024. It is the newest book in the John Russell & Effi Koenen Series.


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